Whelp... no more marathon for me.
The leg "cramp" I thought I experienced that shortened my 16 mile run (you can read about that here), was in fact a tear in my calf muscle. A few days after I originally hurt it, I was playing basketball (poorly) with a couple of friends from work. I pushed off with my right leg, and OUCH. I knew something was definitely wrong. I made a doctor's appointment for the following morning, and she gave me my diagnosis.
The only thing that can really help me at this point is time to heal. My doctor referred me to physical therapy, and gave me a 60 day pass to a gym with a pool. She wants me to swim and to try deep water running (which my trainer is also a big advocate of).
When I called my trainer, Dan, he took the bad news in stride. While I was feeling badly for myself, he had more of an "Okay, well that happens." approach. He did make it a point to tell me that I hadn't done anything wrong; injuries are part of the sport.
But it really isn't guilt that I'm feeling about this. It's disappointment. Disappointment that all of the miles I've run and the Saturday mornings I've sacrificed didn't add up to completing a marathon. Disappointment that this didn't happen earlier, so I would have had time to recover and not miss my crucial long runs. This past weekend's workout was supposed to be 18 miles, and Saturday's was supposed to be 20.
In the end, this sucks. That's all there is to it. But... there are other races out there, and I am grateful that it wasn't something more serious. Plus, when you look back at the not-so-distant past, I started off in November barely able to complete three miles. I'm at a point now that I can do 14. I know I should be proud of that, and honestly, I am.
So... my plan at this point is to listen to my doctor and heal. Then I'm going to do some research and pick the next race, and work my way up to it. Just because I'm down right now, I'm certainly not out.